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Bedwas man to hike 7,000 miles around coast for Velindre

Published in News at 12:49, Monday September 9th, 2013.

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Gareth and his grandfather Garfield

Gareth and his grandfather Garfield

A Bedwas man is to attempt to walk 7,000 miles around the British coastline to raise money for Velindre.

Gareth Axenderrie, 21, will take a year off from his job at the Visit Caerphilly Centre to take on the challenge. If successful, he will become one of the select few to have completed the feat. Since 1978, when John Merrill became the first person to walk the route, less than 30 people have managed to walk the coast.

Gareth will set off on his trek from Cardiff Bay on Saturday January 4 next year and plans to walk an average 20 to 25 miles each day. Readers of Caerphilly Observer will be able to keep track of his progress through Gareth’s online blog which will be published once a fortnight on our website.

The inspiration for the challenge is Gareth’s grandfather Garfield.

Gareth explained: “In terms of nominating a charity, there really was only one option from the beginning. The amazing people at Velindre Cancer Centre have been brilliant with many relative and friends of mine over the last few years.
“Without them I would no longer have a grandfather. My ‘Papa’ was diagnosed with cancer of the colon a few years back, and at 86 many would have written him off there and then.

“However the good guys at Velindre give him a full blast of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and within a few months he was back to his very best. Now almost 90 years of age, he’s looking forward to a helicopter ride to celebrate his birthday and 60th wedding anniversary.

“Everybody knows somebody who is going through some form of treatment for Cancer, more often or not it is everybody at Velindre helping save these people’s lives.”

Andrew Morris, head of fundraising at Velindre Hospital, said: “Velindre attracts some amazing supporters, often because they are eager to give something back after experiencing Velindre’s special brand of care, but this is a really extreme way to say thank you.

“Gareth has set himself an amazing challenge and we will be supporting him in every way we possibly can as he attempts to walk 7,000 miles.”

• You can support Gareth by donating at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gbwalk.
You can also follow his journey on Twitter at @gb_walk and through a regular blog at CaerphillyObserver.co.uk

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  • Clive

    Good luck Gareth. Donation given. A really wonderful cause you are supporting.

    Please say a fond 'Hello' to your grandparents and see if they can remember who bought the most sweets in the shop :-)